When pruning and trimming trees to keep them healthy and looking their best or to avoid electrical hazards, always be aware of the location of power lines and follow these safety tips.
- Keep all ladders, tools, aerial lifts and buckets at least three metres or 10 feet away from power lines.
- Always carry ladders horizontally to avoid contact with overhead power lines. If possible, enlist the help of another person when moving a ladder.
- It is a myth that only metal ladders are a risk around power lines. No matter what material a ladder is made of it can contain metal and is a hazard if it comes in contact with lines.
- Ladders don’t have to directly contact power lines as electricity can arc or jump across to a person or tool that comes too close, so always maintain the minimum safe distance.
- If the bucket of an aerial lift contacts a power line, the ground around it can become energized. Should this happen, keep everyone at least 10 metres or 30 feet away from the lift and call 9-1-1. Wait for a utility worker to confirm the power has been disconnected and that it is safe to leave the lift.
- When there is overgrowth, power lines can become hidden in trees and foliage. Before starting work, check the entire area to be sure it is clear of power lines. Always keep yourself and your tools at least three metres or 10 feet away from the lines.